Are you familiar with shingle rash? Do you know what it looks like? Or have you ever had one before? The first question that comes into our mind is that, what is shingles? Shingles is a skin rash or an inflammation of the skin caused by the virus called Varicella zoster (VZV). This is the same virus that causes chickenpox and it belongs to the family of Herpes viruses. Shingles is also known as Herpes zoster, its medical term. Shingles is an infection of the roots of the nerves.
Who can have shingle rash?
Anyone can have shingle rash. You have to bear in mind that this is contagious. It can be transferred easily to one person, whether young or old person who have not had chickenpox, via direct contact to the patient with shingle rash. Those who had chickenpox are those who have the high risk of developing shingles. But, it is more prone for those who are having weak immune system caused by stress, over fatigue or some other factors. It may also appear to those elderly. According to studies, those who are at the age of over 60 are more prone of having shingle rash because they have a weaker immune system. Shingle rash can last up to 30 days. At first, it is painful but as it heals, the pain becomes less painful. This may also leave some scars and discoloration of the skin being affected.
What are the symptoms of shingle rash? You will not going to notice immediately if you’re going to have shingle rash. It is more difficult to notice if the characteristics of the rash haven’t appeared yet. Before it becomes visible, burning pain and sensitive skin may notice after several days or even a week. You may also feel that you’re having flu but eventually you will not going to have a fever. You may also feel that you’re having a headache and sometimes you’re becoming sensitive to light. After this, you now can feel itching and it’s like burning and having so much pain in the affected areas. At first, it may start at small blisters only, but after some time, it may become larger as it continues to form until progresses to formation of clusters of fluid-filled blisters.
What are the treatments that can be done?
There are lots of treatments to choose from in order for us to treat shingle rash. Those antiviral drugs can help to lessen the duration of the rash. Example of this drug is valacyclovir (Valtrex). You may also need pain medications aside from the antiviral drugs just for symptom control. You can also take anti-inflammatory drugs in order to reduce the inflammations. If there’s so much pain, you may take pain reliever and it should be prescribed by your doctor.
Make sure also that the infected area is always clean. You can take a bath and you can use soap and water for the cleansing of the affected areas. In order to provide some relief, you can use anti itching lotions, and to dry the blisters, you can use aluminum acetate solution.
In order to reduce the chances of having shingle rash, to those who are at the age of over 60, vaccine is available for them. This vaccine is called Zostavax.
A vaccination for your children is also available. Nowadays, it is already a recommendation for your children to have a vaccination called vaccination against VZV. This is to prevent and reduce the case of having a shingle rash.
For those who think that they are having shingle rash, you should immediately see your doctor in order for them to give you some medications. For those who haven’t had shingle rash or even had chickenpox, it is recommended that you should have a vaccination in order to lessen the chances.